By The News Service of Florida
Florida had another 49 reported cases of hepatitis A last week, bringing the total this year to 3,327 as of Saturday, according to new figures from the state Department of Health. With the end of the year nearing, the number of hepatitis A cases in 2019 has dwarfed the totals in past years as health officials have tried to combat an outbreak. By comparison, the state had 548 cases in 2018, 276 cases in 2017 and 122 cases in 2016.
Hepatitis A can cause liver damage and is spread through such things as fecal matter. That can include transmission by people not properly washing their hands after going to the bathroom and contaminating food or drinks. Health officials have urged people to get vaccinated against the disease, and county health departments and other health providers have administered more than 302,000 vaccinations this year, according to the Department of Health.
As of Saturday, Pasco County topped the state with 413 cases this year, followed by Pinellas County with 377; Volusia County with 301; Orange County with 195; Hillsborough County with 167; Brevard County with 159; Lake County with 157; Marion County with 149; Manatee County with 138; Hernando County with 117; Citrus County with 114; Sarasota County with 109; and Lee County with 104.
Leon County has reported 5 cases as of 12/21/2019.